This week was a recovery week. Way less volume than the last three weeks and it was nice. Cheryl was out of town and the lower volume allowed me time to clean the house and catch up on dishes (extra brownie points!). I also decided that instead of trying to get my teenage boy to do something I like to do (to spend time together), I would do something he likes to do. So I bought an Xbox and Call Of Duty Modern Warfare Two and spent some time learning it yesterday. I really suck at it but hey, my son enjoyed helping me set it up, teaching me the basics, laughing at me, and picking my gamer tag "AN 0Ld Man z". So if you see me online, take it easy on an old man :-).
The next three weeks will be the biggest volume of my plan (and ever in my life) if all goes well. It's time to talk about NOLA goals. I've been thinking about them all along of course, but it's time to write them down. I'm one of those multi-stage goal people. I don't have a sub-six hour or I'm a failure attitude. I like to have levels of success (at least for longer races). So here they are.
1. Enjoy myself. I would love to avoid my usual pre-race funk, but even if that occurs, I want to have an overall positive experience.
2. Finish. Anything can happen, specially in a longer race. A DNF (did not finish) is low probability, but not zero probability. Horrible swim conditions, crash on the bike, bonk on the run, it happens.
3. Time. This is the tough one since I've only done sprint races until now. My OWS swim times are typically 2:30/100 (slow I know, but considering I never swam until two years ago, I'll take it). I should be able to do that at NOLA (unless there are 3 foot swells like last year). My best 40k bike average was 20 mph. A few months ago, I would have put 20% slower as my goal (and probably still should after this Sunday's ride). After my long ride last weekend, I'm going with 10% lower. High winds could make that impossible, but I have new tires (23 mm vs. 25 mm) and an aero helmet :-). My goal is an 18 mph ave which may be a stretch. For the run, my best half mary time is 1:55 and change. No way I'm running that on less run volume and after biking for 3+ hours. I'll go with 20% slower there. Throw in some change for transitions and my time goal is:
Swim = 52 minutes
T1 = 5 minutes
Bike = 3:06:00
T2 = 4 minutes
Run = 2:15:00
Total = 6:22
4. I would love to go sub 6. How do I take 22 minutes off of the previous goal?
2:20/100 swim saves 3 minutes. I could save 2 minutes in T1 if I'm efficient. If I average 18.7 I could save 6 minutes on the bike. I could save 2 minutes on T2 if I'm efficient. That leaves 8 on the run for a 2:07 half mary. All that could happen, but it is a stretch. I have done 2 minute T1's and 1 minute T2's in sprint races, but a sprint is quite different. A sprint is almost done from the beginning.
A sub 6 is unlikely and I need to focus on goal number 1 for my first HIM.